Other Side of The Lake

Few years back, I was in India; just moved to Bangalore for a job. Out of the classified ad’s we short-listed a house on ‘lake-side’  and called the owner that we wanted to have a look. The description was unbelievable for the price mentioned.

Madivala Lake

Other side of the lake; far away

The owner stayed away from that house. But he was quite enthusiastic about showing us the house. He kept on calling us on the phone until we met him at central silk-board junction Sunday afternoon. A thin, simple-looking person in mid-forties, might be. He had come in bus all the way from Marathahalli for this purpose. And he paid for our tickets in all the three buses we had to travel to reach the said house. We did not reach the house, but we reached somewhere at a last drop-point of the bus on the other side of the lake.

We started walking and after every 10 minutes or so the person repeats, “only half kilometers to go”. Then he showed us something he called a bus-stop. Nothing of that sort was in sight.  “You get BMTC buses right from here. No need to walk much.” But walk from where?? The house still seemed to be “half-kilometers” away. We were walking down a road looking much worse than fresh-bombed Afganistan.

Then came a gate. That was the security check-point for the “colony”, as he said. There was no fence or wall in sight. Only a gate. If you ever seen people playing ‘AOE’ (be self dependent, search yourself), you might have seen situations when there is a gate guarding nothing. Just a gate, no walls, no nothing. This “colony” was perhaps inspired by that.

A few “half-kilometers” later, we reached the house. (It was not so easy, but why to trouble you?) We were dead. Some one from us cracked a joke by asking the person if we could get cold-drinks somewhere there. Later on asking for some drinking water revealed the fact that we need to trace our way back by few “half-kilometers” for that.

The house was as described in the ad. But with a radius of approx 500 meters  (500 meters is not “half-kilometers”) we could sense foul smell. The intensity of that foulness did not increase as we neared the house. (Neither did it decrease.) So, hopefully, the house was not the epi-center of the smell. OK, let’s see the house ASAP and then deal with the smell.

It was a new, independent, fully furnished 3-bedroom house. At a proposed monthly rent of 5500 per month! That later came down to 4500/- after a basic bargain. The person had asked, “how much is your salary?” to which “5k” was the unanimous answer. “That very good, no?”, “You will have to spend less than 1/3rd of your salary for this house”, … some comments by him. As if our only goal in life and the job was to grab the once- in-a-lifetime oppertunity of dwelling in his house.

Once-in-a-lifetime oppertunity comes towards the top in the list of ‘oppertunities’ you substitute to get a permission from seniors in a pathetically framed sentence during the ragging days. It went like this, “May I have the * oppertunity to #?” Where * needed to be substituted by “silver, golden, diamond, platnum, once-in-a-lifetime” etc in sequence and with enough care not to miss any. # can be any thing you want a permission to, like: “look up”, “drink water”, “kiss you”, “slap you” and bla. The senior was supposed to say ‘no’ every time and you ask the next oppertunity. If you miss any, you get a lovely slap. I never got any. There were other reasons.

Anyways there is NO ragging these days. NO means absolute NO. Poor juniors; must be missing the fun.

The lake was visible. From the other side of the above picture. But with every stroke of incoming breeze we sensed increased foulness in the smell. Seems, immediately after this person built his house, the Government decided to dump the whole city’s waste in front of his house. Still he continually defied with comments like, “Some MNC is going to clean the lake and start boating and other facilities there”. (Doesn’t it mean more garbage for You? That fished-out of the lake.) “And you can put incense sticks inside the house. ” We said, “Yes, yes. We will spray deoderant.”

3rd or 4th time he repeated, “If you do not confirm in a day. I am planning to move in”. (Why don’t you do so? and staying in a rented house in Marathahalli?)

We had rejected the idea long back. But still listening to him in some hope that he will get some drinking water arranged and save our lives sufficient enough to reach back home. ( I meant PG)

It was time to leave. He started, “There is a short-cut this way (another bumpy, muddy, stoney, curvy, road-like thing) to reach Bannerghatta road. It’s just ‘half-kilometers’ or so. You want me to show you that?”

“No, no. We will get our vehicles. So no need.” Saving life was most important.

Next day he was found saying on phone, “What did you decide? I may move in to that house if you are not planning to” to which the reply was “No”. Then he offered for INR4000/- as the monthly rent.

“No it’s ok. We are not leaving the PG in next few months.”

~~~

Few months back form now, I was in Bangalore and probably the last fortunate few who got a chance to capture in camera the garbage all around the said lake. Had I provided more camera-exposure in the above photo, I would have got something like the following: (The mountain-like structures in fore-ground.)

Will miss the garbage

Will miss the garbage

Recently, to my ultimate shock,  I learnt the garbage is missing. The lake has been cleaned up and boating and stuff have been started. Baloons too are available there. Not sure what happened on the other side.


2 Responses to “Other Side of The Lake”

  • Magie Says:

    Few years back, I was in India; just moved to Bangalore for a job. Can u plz clarify before that few years u were in abroad? :)or bangalore is in different country……

    Makki…..:)

  • Omprakash Mall Says:

    other side of lake…really misses the garbage…that really a funny way of expressing criticism.I wud like to hear more of such from you.

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